Monday, May 19, 2014

Challenging The Future!

Rich Buckler and Frank Giacoia
Recently got hold of the fifth volume reprinting some key Deadman stories from across the decades. There have notable gaps in what has been reprinted, but one of those gaps was filled when a trio of issues of the Bronze Age revival Challengers of the Unknown got the nod.

The Challs are at the end of their brief Bronze Age run and to goose sales I suppose some other defunct characters were melted into the story lines. Swamp Thing has become a defacto member of the team and Deadman tags along (despite none of the Challs being aware of this) as they confront their final Bronze Age menace. It came from the future.

Rich Buckler and Jack Abel
Written by Gerry Conway and drawn by Keith Giffen and John Celardo the yarn opens when mysterious cubes arrive. The cubes are opaque and their contents (if any) are unknown and potentially dangerous. So the Challs with their new comrades check it out. Turns out these cubes are from the far future and its quickly determined by Rip Hunter and his team must've had some connection. So Prof Haley and the gang head to Hunter's lair and find a mysterious skull, not Hunter's, and then Prof sends the rest into the future where they discover a dangerous and malignant culture.

Alex Saviuk and Dick Giordano
It becomes a utterly fantastic mash-up with the Challs, Rip Hunter, Deadman, and Swamp Thing battling Giffen-monsters. At first Rip Hunter is a baddie, his mind controlled by the future villains, then later thanks to Deadman he throws off that control.

This is a rip-snorter which ends exceedingly abruptly since the last issue of the story was also the final issue of this Challs revival run.

It was fun to read this whole yarn at long last.

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